SMRT NEEDS TO BE TAKEN TO TASK FOR NEAR STAMPEDE @ TAMPINES MRT

The crowd-crush that took place yesterday at Tampines MRT station nearly turned into a deadly stampede, says commuter who was present at the dangerously crowded platform.

Will LTA or SMRT take any responsibility for this?

"Dear SMRT

I would like to bring to your attention to an incident that happened this morning at Tampines Station.

I was at the station at about 8am and everything was per usual, up until the point of taking the escalator up to the platform.

As one escalator was shut down, there was only one escalator heading up.

Everyone took the escalator and to our horror, it was jammed up at the top as the entire platform was already filled with commuters.

There was no other way for commuters who were coming, to walk the other way. The escalator kept going and we were being forcefully pushed forward by the motion.

Commuters then started to shout for the staff to shut down the escalator as it was too dangerous. It was simply a stampede waiting to happen. It was not for another minute of frantic shouting that the escalator finally stopped.

At this point, I would like to raise a few concerns and I hope that you can address them with justifiable reasons.

First, considering that the entire platform was already filled with commuters, why were there no signages or staff advising people of the situation?

Or rather, should there not be any staff to stop people from entering the station?

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You have the platform overflowing with commuters, to the point that the escalator could not function properly, and you still don't see a need to contain the number of people coming in?

Second, as far as I am aware of, there were staff stationed on the platform to assist commuters.

Why is that when the platform started to fill up and people had trouble getting off the escalator, none of them did anything?

They continued to let the escalator operate and it was only after a minute of frantic shouting that the escalator was finally shut down. They could have communicated to the staff on the ground level that it was too crowded to let more people in.

It was a fortunate thing that no one was injured in this incident. However, your staff were putting commuters' safety at risk with their lack of alertness and proactiveness.

Third, I have just checked SMRT's Twitter and there is still no mention of today's situation along the EWL.

How do you expect commuters to make informed decisions about their travel to work, if they are not aware of any possible situations?

I understand that you may only be reporting on major train delays/faults etc, but take a look at the picture and tell me that this is not major enough for you to inform commuters about?

Fourth, I was on the platform for about ten minutes before an announcement was played. It mentioned that due to overcrowding on the platform, commuters are advised to take alternative transport.

The overcrowding has obviously been happening before then and it was only at about 8.10am that any announcement was played. Are you telling me that your ground staff had no idea of what was going on prior to 8.10am?

Yes, commuters are frustrated with the constant train delays and faults.However, we don't have a choice as it is our main form of transportation to work.

So, I speak on behalf of fellow commuters that while we cannot control any train delays etc, the least you can do as an operator is to provide timely updates so that we can make informed decisions.

While your Twitter page is relatively updated, your FB page has delayed updates. What is the point of having a train delay in the morning but posting about it in the late afternoon?

With all these in mind, I would like an explanation as to how these events could have transpired, as well as the steps you intend to implement to prevent them from happening again. I do not believe the public will stand for such blatant disregard for safety. Thank you.

Deborah Tan"

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